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Most people living from paycheck to paycheck constantly encounter money glitches.
Once salary comes in, it goes into several things all at once. Bills and expenses lie in wait while savings are constantly on zero. Sometimes, you even spend the salary before it actually hits the account (i.e. buying things on credit to be paid off once salary comes).
What happens if that paycheck is suddenly delayed or you lose your job?
Of course, your finances will hit rock bottom in the blink of an eye! It is a huge financial disaster when an unexpected loss of income occurs and there isn’t enough money left.
In this article, we will show you 3 easy ways you can start saving today.
Do away with unhealthy habits
Some habits perpetually rub you off a lot of bucks that could have gone into savings and to think that most of these habits are actually unhealthy.
For example smoking, excessive alcohol intake, sweet tooth, driving three blocks to pick up something you could have just walked to get. Bet most people who have cars are guilty of the 4th example. Why not walk instead? You will save money (fuel, wear-and-tear) and get a little exercise as well. Yes, we all have guilty pleasures, but cutting back on them can save you a lot of money. If you cannot get rid of them at least keep them to the minimum.
Once you receive your paycheck, shell out something for yourself first before taking care of bills and other expenses.
Not very many people do this, but it actually works. For example – If you earn 200,000 monthly, and you pay yourself 10 percent of this amount every month which is 20,000. At the end of the year, you will have a savings of 240,000. It might look like a waste of time because it is small, but in the end, you will be glad you actually did it.
There is no rule that states that you must pay yourself 10 percent. Feel free to adjust this as you see fit and also according to your income. If you have other sources of income asides from your salary, you can also apply this strategy to it.
Automate Your Savings
Open up a savings account with an automatic transfer. Every bank operates this system in Nigeria. This is more like placing an instruction on your bank account to automatically move a certain amount of money to another account on a certain day/date continuously for a period of time.
Automating your savings enables you to send money to your savings account without having to touch it. You know, out of sight they say is out of mind. You will be less likely to spend it if it is out of your reach.
As soon as you start, never deviate from it. Once you miss one payment, chances are high that you will miss another. This could go on and on and you may end up without any savings at all.
Spend With Purpose
Be conscious of your spending and manage your expenses well. If your lifestyle makes you spend blindly, change it or adjust it to match your budget. Never live above your means.
Create a monthly budget that covers all your necessary expenses and stick to it.
Start saving NOW!
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Fresh in the job market?
You are probably wondering what life in the job market looks like and confused about how to get started.
The job market is deeply saturated and if you don’t arm yourself with the necessary tools you will remain on the bench longer than you can imagine.
Before you launch out your job search, here are few things you should know:
Getting a job through existing connections only is not definitive
No doubt you have heard the popular notion that you cannot get a good job without connections. While this may seem true, a lot of people are getting employed daily based on their competence. You too can be one of them!
Shake off of this belief, be optimistic and focus on making yourself employable.
The competition is fierce
Your degree is not enough to land the job. There is serious competition out there! Therefore, you must make yourself stand out by acquiring the necessary 21st-century workplace skills.
Learn how to use Microsoft Office Tools such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Corel Draw, etc. Learn how to type with considerable speed and improve your communication skills (verbal and written).
Experience is advantageous
“I just graduated.”
That’s not an excuse! Do not wait until you can get a six-digits paying job. While you are still looking out for better opportunities, start building your experience by taking on small pay jobs, volunteering in organizations or NGOs, working as an intern, etc. Time is essential, so don’t just stay idle waiting for a big job.
Know your industry
What was your course of study? What career path do you want to take? Have these clearly defined and don’t be in a hurry to take just any job. Be specific on the industry you want to work in, learn the relevant skills and requirements needed.
Networking is key
The more people you talk to people about job opportunities, the higher your chances of getting a job. Let your friends, significant others, church members, and relations know you are job hunting. They will have you in mind whenever an opportunity comes up. Send copies of your CV to people you feel could be of help.
Social media can hurt your chances of getting hired
Some employers run a background check on their prospective employees to get a sense of their social life before deciding whether to hire them or not. Keep your social media posts and pictures as decent and professional as possible. Use your accounts as a tool for job search. Set up a professional LinkedIn profile if you do not have one already and ensure potential employers can get a feel of the professional you.
Learning is continuous
The largest room in the world is the room for improvement. Don’t discard your learning materials and never stop learning/getting better at your craft just because you have graduated. Look up courses in your area of interest whether free or paid. Show these courses in your CV as these will tell any potential employer that you are teachable and are willing to work.
Bonus point: Your career path and those of your friends are different. Do not make comparisons.
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It’s another Monday morning. While a few people see it as a chance to start afresh or a new week to add more feathers to their crowns and take on new territories at work, others struggle with the blues. ‘Arrrghh! There we go again. Another crazy work week.’ Imagine having to grudgingly drag yourself to the bathroom while cursing under your breath and secretly wishing the weekend could be extended. If you dread Mondays and the mere thought of it sends chills down your spine, this is for you. These 5 powerful Monday morning hacks will give you an entirely different feeling.
- Clear your desk before the weekend:
Don’t leave behind a lot of work on a Friday all in a rush to get home, jump into the shower and change into your pajamas while slumming it out on the sofa trying to catch up on the new episode of your favorite soap opera. Whatever work you left behind will stare back into your face the following Monday morning. Endeavor to clear your table before calling it a wrap on Friday.
- Wake early; run a cold shower:
Set your alarm to wake you in time enough to put your mind in perspective. Waking up early gives you enough time to put on a work mindset and enjoy the process of preparing for work without rushing. Nobody enjoys being in unnecessary haste. In addition, a cold water shower will keep your nerves more alert than a hot one.
- Have a defined mission:
Yes, to-do lists are very helpful and we advocate using them to uplevel your productivity but you know what else gives a powerful motivation? Having a defined target every new day or week as you set to work. Don’t just create a long bland list of things to do. Make sure you have a defined target to accomplish every day or week then break it down into bits of activities which then makes up your to-do list. Having something to look forward to at work creates feelings of excitement that will make you jump out of bed to get to work.
- Eat proper breakfast:
Studies have shown that breakfast is the most important meal of the day hence it counts more than others. The good thing about waking early is that you get the chance to fix yourself a healthy meal for breakfast. Don’t start off on an empty stomach so you don’t spend the early hours of the morning struggling to focus while fighting off hunger.
- Plan your Mondays on Sundays:
Do not wait until Monday morning before figuring out what to do and how to do it. Self-evaluate your previous week’s activities and decide what areas you need to follow up on. This includes planning what to wear to work to avoid that morning confusion which further makes Mondays a day you passionately dislike. Having a plan in place gives you clarity and a boost of confidence.
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Some interview questions seem really tough and difficult to answer, but if you calm down and really look at them, you will find that it is actually not as hard as it seems. Employers use these questions to choose the best amongst equals.
The meaning behind this interview question:
When a hiring manager asks you – “Why do you think you are qualified for this position?” or “Do you feel your skills and experience match the job description?” or “Do you feel that you have the skills and experience required for this job?” He/she wants to know if you understand the requirements for the position and what makes you a must have.
You are not going to get away with a simple “I am qualified for this position because I have all the skills you need” answer. The hiring manager expects you to explain (with examples) precisely how your skills and experience match the job description. However, this doesn’t mean you should give him/her a long lecture, make it brief, concise and packed with evidence. This is why you should prepare thoroughly before the interview, it will give you the time to determine in advance what skills and experience you possess that the interviewer is going to be interested in.
How to prepare for this interview question:
- Make a list of requirements and criteria for the job criteria not only from the job description provided by the company but also from your knowledge of the industry and adverts for similar positions.
- Identify all skills and experience you have that match the criteria
- Give examples of your work, past projects, fieldwork, academic qualifications that demonstrate you have the said skills or experience.
- State additional skills that fit into the role and sets you apart from other candidates.
Sample answers for different roles
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- “I believe my skills and experience match the person specification. You’re looking for someone with high-level of experience in the oil and gas industry. I have 20 years’ experience in this sector, most recently as General Manager of an oil conglomerate in Lagos.”
- “You need someone with extensive skill in financial management, able to build turnover and, most importantly build turnover profitably. In my past role as a branch manager, I headed a team that realized an annual turnover of 50 million – 30% higher than when I took up the job two years ago.”
- “The role you are looking to fill demands an individual who is adept at managing and leading a large team. I am responsible for 50 sales staff at my current workplace. Together we drive profitable sales, build and maintain profitable long-term relationships with key, high-value clients.”
- “I have good administrative skills and I believe I will be an asset to your office. I have fast typing skills and proficient in Microsoft Office applications including programs such as Adobe Photoshop, QuickBooks.”
Landing a new job is a dream come true, but what happens when the salary doesn’t meet your expectations?
For some people, getting the offer is more than enough, especially if they have been searching for too long. For others, a low ball offer is a no-no, they strike a negotiation and get themselves a better deal. It is not wrong to negotiate an offer if you feel you deserve more.
However, salary negotiation is not an easy task, it is more like a ballroom dance. The potential employer starts the dance by making an offer, you take one step forward countering the offer, the potential employer takes one step backward, then you are both on the same pace and the next minute they are stepping backward again. Even if you are a pro, if you don’t have a strong stance, you can be thrown off balance. You must master the steps and the rhythm to be able to strike a final deal.
Here is how to get the ball rolling in your favor:
Do Your Research Properly
Do you know what people like you are earning?
Look up what people in your field/industry are currently making. Match the job title, description, and experience to salary benchmarks for that position in your industry. A tool like Payscale can help you find out. You can tailor the search to match the country you are in, years of experience, the job title, etc.
Is There Room For Negotiations?
Once you receive an offer, it is okay to find out from the potential employer if there is any room for negotiations. Put a call across to the hiring manager or send an email, stating how happy you are to receive the offer, but you have some questions/concerns about the salary.
Find out if there is any room for flexibility and adjustment. If there is, then the negotiation starts.
Negotiate Within a Range
Avoid giving out a specific number. Instead, state a salary range, this way you have a high and low end for the employer to work with. Providing a range shows that you are willing to compromise and discuss from there. You can also consider negotiating other things in the compensation package asides the salary. E.g. Flexible working arrangements, leave entitlement, allowances, etc.
Back Up Your Request with Proof
You can’t negotiate a better offer without justifying your request for an adjustment to the offer. Go into negotiations with a clear explanation of why you think you deserve more. Prove to the hiring manager that your skills and expertise is worth a million bucks. Demonstrate and give illustrations of what you achieved in the past and how you plan to do the same and even more if you are brought onboard.
Finally, remain firm with the salary that you want, but also display some flexibility. This will show the interviewer that you are a team player. Be civil and professional throughout the process. Remember, you are making an impression on the potential employer.